Talk:Soviet Union/Archive1

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Glory to the motherland! MiddleMan 06:56, 2 July 2007 (CDT)

What does this mean?
Viet Nam - Afghanistan (as in, not quite, but bloody and pointless enough)
Not quite what? Enough for what? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:35, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Intelligent discussion of article content continues[edit]

Pointless paragraph[edit]

While hardly a parade of sunshine and roses (in fact, they were quite shitty), the USSR was far from the evil baby-eating, warmongering mega-villains the western propaganda portrayed them as. While they lacked the inalienable right of Americans to exploit the poor, the Soviets did see to it that the parts of their population the leaders liked were taken care of. By many standards, life in Russia has actually gotten worse since the fall of the USSR, but this could be because the country is now run by a Bond villain.

And with that, generations of historians of eastern Europe slowly watch their jaw hit the floor in amazement. MarcusCicero (talk) 11:54, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Sigh. I'll go into detail then. Firstly, there is a fallacy within public opinion that destalinisation was in essence a liberalisation of the Soviet Union. That Khruschev heralded the beginning of the post Stalin age. Ergo, the contrast between Khruschev and Stalin is supposed to prove that the Soviet Union was a normal state hereafter; that tyranny and oppression was not the norm. This ignores both Hungary and Prague, but also overlooks the fact that Khruschev and subsequent premiers played major roles in the Stalinist terror itself. In many ways Khruschev was acting from sheer self interest, deflecting personal responsibility away and conveniently focusing it all on the figure of Stalin. Obviously this is a massive conceit and inherently erroneous.
The paragraph in question is reaffirmation of modern Soviet nostalgia, worthy of investigation as an independant form of woo all by itself, as it endeavours to overlook the true horror of the gulags and the grinding daily misery of life behind the iron curtain. Of course, all was not necessarily evil, the average Russian family just got on with things and lived their life to the best of their ability. But it is intellectually dishonest to minimise criticism by contrasting the latter Union was the heydey of Stalin; hence this website should seek to provide clarity and closure on the matter, rather than playing into the cynical trap set so earnestly by Khruschev in the 50s. MarcusCicero (talk) 14:47, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
This is quite true. I'd quite happily remove that paragraph and salt the pixels it was displayed on. Bondurant (talk) 15:16, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
There is a legitimate case to be made against western propaganda - but then again, propaganda is by itself an admission of exaggeration. But reacting to this propaganda does not mean there isn't some truth to it in the first place. All skilled propagandists know that the best variations of it are based on truth - if it wasn't then the propaganda would be meaninglessly pointless. Take for example the lies the North Koreans tell their citizens about the south, that it is a wasteland of poverty and drudgery (The reality being that the south is 15 times wealthier than the north) MarcusCicero (talk) 15:20, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I think the point is that while the USSR was utter shit, it's still not as bad as Hollywood movies portray it as in their continued effort to turn the world monochrome, as they tend to get shown as intentionally evil, rather than just a fucked up totalitarian regime. I would posit that there is an important difference. It's bad enough that it was totalitarian and authoritative without playing a Godwin's Law type game with it where the place is portrayed as an evil baby eating empire. You know, even commies are people too. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 17:44, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't necessarily disagree with that. My point is that belittling the evils of the Soviet Union - and there clearly were evils at play - serves nobody any good and goes a long way to reaffirming that insidious Soviet nostalgia I'm talking about. Western propaganda was based on exagerrating pre-existant abuses, not inventing ones from scratch. MarcusCicero (talk) 17:47, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't mean to artificially make the soviet era look great and encourage nostalgia - that time is an era when I think both halves of the northern hemisphere were at their worst and we don't want to go back there - but I think it's the exaggerating itself belittles the true evils - exaggeration is still fabrication and serves no one. If it's not enough just to present facts and have people say "holy crap, that's just wrong" then it probably isn't wrong. I think I originally modified that paragraph ages ago as a bending-over-backwards attempt at proving a point, but in hindsight I don't think it really works, but the historical knowledge I have to hand certainly isn't good enough to express it properly. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 17:57, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, what I really mean to get across is that the exaggerations and falsehoods and propaganda were that the soviet union was bad because it was communist. That's not true, it was bad because it was an authoritarian and totalitarian crapshack. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:00, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I believe the degeneration of the Soviet Union were due to some serious defects in communism as a political theory - namely how it facilitates almost absolute power within tiny elites under the banner of the 'vanguard' party. As an ideology, communism requires total consent to work - clearly a fallacy that was always going to result in tyranny. Ergo, the only political system which works is an anti utopian one, one which manifesty asserts that utopia is impossible. In other words, political choices are between the preferable and the detestable - not a black and white world of good and evil. Though we could spend all day arguing this through... let me just surmise my position - I agree with Burke :) MarcusCicero (talk) 18:25, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree with that, on grounds of "I think you'll find it's a little more complicated than that". Yes, communism is ultimately unworkable, and the TV Tropes article on Star Trek economics is pretty good at showing it up, even as a post scarcity concept. But I don't think it is, per see directly to blame for inviting totalitarianism or "evil" (although without a serious rejig of human sociology it's certainly the only currently practical solution, I would only discount utopia in practice, rather than principle). I don't particularly want to argue it much further, as I admit my historical knowledge is far too lacking to back it up and my ability to care about the intricacies of the isms and ists of political theories is even more limited. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:49, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
The democratic Republic is a reasonable compromise between the various conflicting interest groups within the body politic. The social democratic model being the best, in my humble opinion. Any system that promotes the development of elites, without oversight, or the oxygen of transparancy is doomed to failure. Or maybe I've been reading too much Orwell. MarcusCicero (talk) 20:04, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Whether communism inevitably invites totalitarianism is an issue very much up for debate. I just find it rather telling that every organised body politic that has experimented with it has ended up as total failures, awash with double speak, tyranny and mass bloodshed. You can blame 'the leaders who abused the system', but clearly something must be doctrinally impure if it consistently attains the same results time after time again. MarcusCicero (talk) 20:16, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I would say that certain madmen's ravings, which Reds are pleased to call "Marxist economics," seal that deal. Communist revolutionaries sweep to power on a promise of bread and proceed to ruin their country's economy, after which they feel the need to sweep such inconvenient facts under the rug. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:17, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
It certainly fails on a large scale, probably due to completely destroying the concept of social mobility. I do think it's workable on smaller scales, indeed it is probably the best way of working in small groups anywhere up to a couple of hundred depending on the collective attitude. However, as you hinted at, it's an interesting idea about correlation and causation, does communism lead to lunatic leaders, or do lunatic leaders choose communism because it provides idealistic but ultimately empty promises that get them power, and also provides legitimate reasoning for their totalitarian streaks to vent from? I'd probably postulate the latter based on the fact it is workable at small scales, but when you need to move up an order of magnitude or so and need a firm leadership base, things break. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 07:05, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
With all due respect, Armondikov, I think you are engaging from the wrong premise. The issue is not whether communism attracts loony leaders. No political system should be so weak that it relies on virtuous people hopefully coming to the fore. The problem is that it has very little grasp of the importance of limiting political power. Frankly it doesn't recognise the darkness inherent in mans heart - it is a utopian ideology, and as such hopelessly naive. I believe communism, for all its virtues, is a reckless ideology that has been proven to result in tyranny and destruction. Until a variation arises where the problem of unlimited political power is rectified, it will always be in the bin, where it truly belongs. MarcusCicero (talk) 10:18, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
In which case, I agree with you there. I suppose I'm just more optimistic in thinking that it may actually be possible to overcome the human limitations that are the route cause of the "flaw" in a communist ideal; i.e., that the flaw is in the human condition, and not in this political/economic system itself. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:28, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Do you believe in Labour Theory of Value? I don't. It doesn't even make sense. In economics terms its all over the place and failed to anticipate the decline of the proletariat and his replacement with a lower middle class services based worker. The industrial economy Marx wrote about simply doesn't exist in most parts of the world. His economics digressions are almost entirely obsolete and irrelevant in the modern world. MarcusCicero (talk) 10:33, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Marcus, it's VERY clear that you're far from unbiased on this subject. Anyone who can read your talk page would see anything beyond "Reagan Uber Alles" as vile red propaganda, designed to sweep the crimes of those evil murdering pinko commie thugs under the rug. LX thinks the same. If one of you would crack open a real nonfiction history book for once, you'd see that the Cold War was not valiant knights of capitalism dispatching the evil, shadowy pinko forces for good and justice, but two groups fighting over who get the most money and influence. The portrayal of the Soviets in western media was, unfortunately, about the same as your skewed beliefs. Sulking commie scum trying to destroy OUR FREEDOMS in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota. Perhaps if you and LX stepped away from the desks for a while, you'd realize there are very rarely good guys in the world of war an international politics.UncleHo (talk) 06:48, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Are you done telling MarcusCicero and me how we think? Good; let us get on. You will note that nowhere in this article are such claims made about Evil Shadowy Reds Under the Bed, etc., etc. It is much more expedient and defensible to focus on the actual crimes of the Soviets, now they have been properly exposed. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:54, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
No, but I am done reading your userpage, which pretty clearly shows you hate anything which even carries the faint scent of left-wing politics and you self-identify as a far right winger. But hey, this clearly does not effect your edits, oh omnipotent LX. Yours is, of course, the only correct bias, as it comes from the mouth of the prophet LX (PBUH) and is the indisputable will of the god king of Minnesota! Get over yourself. You're not going to impress people when you can't complete a sentence without coming across as a total dick.UncleHo (talk) 07:07, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I identify as nothing of the sort, unless of course you define "far right-winger" as "anyone to the right of Karl Marx." Now, if you could stop changing the subject, we could get this dispute over with a little faster. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:32, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I would define anyone who self identifies as an "ultra capitalist" as a far right-winger, as would most rational people. Of course, you are LX, the supreme arbiter of right and wrong, and therefore what you say is law, even if it appears wrong to us plebs. Sorry I doubted you, oh glorious king!UncleHo (talk) 08:07, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I see the confusion.
(1) "Ultra-Capitalist" is a designator assigned by the Moral Matrix personality test. In my case, I am right on the line between "Ultra-Capitalist" and "Ultra-Liberal;" the "ultra" means I am a strong individualist.
(2) Far right-wingers are not exactly enthusiastic supporters of individualism or free-market capitalism, instead generally favoring regimented national or racial unity and the theft of goods from their respective untermenschen (e.g., the Nazi thefts of Jewish property). Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:15, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
So you're a libertarian and an asatru. Not doing yourself any favors here, buddy.UncleHo (talk) 08:26, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I do not consider myself a libertarian, just an individualist. But you are not going to get much of anywhere by engaging in personal attacks instead of constructive dialogue. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:42, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I do not consider myself a duck, I just look and quack like one. You're not in a position to talk about constructive dialogue, Mr. "Edit with the assumption that I am right no matter how wrong I am until the other guy gets tired of arguing and gives up so I can live out my power fantasies on the internet" X. Like I said before, get over yourself.UncleHo (talk) 09:00, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Soviet nostalgia really is one of the most pernicious forms of woo left in this world. MarcusCicero (talk) 09:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Almost as precious as intellectual midgets who fail to see that I am anti-soviet, but are so blinded by their ideology they can't see anything but Reagan in shining armor, striking down those weasely little commies and bringing pax Reagana to the world.UncleHo (talk) 09:09, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Stop miscategorising me. And read a history book. And fuck off. MarcusCicero (talk) 09:40, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I have read history books, and I spent a large portion of my life in military intelligence, so I realize that the Cold War was not some bullshit good Vs evil struggle, but a game between two powers, both looking out only for their interests and coffers, and both guilty of great brutality and inhumanity to further their cause. Both sides demonized each other, and both pretended that they cared about others, when it was all just a stupid, childish game. Unfortunately, this game led to the suffering and death of millions, and it's legacy is still seen today. International affairs are never black and white.UncleHo (talk) 18:44, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Wow, UH, thanks for adding nothing but a series of ad hominems to this discussion. By the way, I find the paragraph in question to be very smirkily critical of the USSR - "the Soviets did see to it that the parts of their population the leaders liked were taken care of" is not exactly a compliment. And what did they do with the parts they didn't like? Kill them or ship them off to the gulags... ħumanUser talk:Human 19:16, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

I never thought I'd see the day Human would agree with me. I think some people here are just so anti-Communist, they can't see straight. Not that this would stop them, of course.UncleHo (talk) 19:21, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
You're boring and deliberately miscategorising people. Your trolling techniques are incredibly irrelevant. You are exaggerating my position, and I don't for a moment believe that you have a background in military intelligence. MarcusCicero (talk) 20:47, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
If you don't want to be called a fervent anti-Communist, you shouldn't have a huge screed on your userpage about how you're a fervent anti-Communist. Just an idea. I know, it makes you angry to see the mean man on the internet judge you based off statements you make yourself, but such is life. Also, I don't really give a shit about what people on the internet think about my history.UncleHo (talk) 21:30, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Ideologically I am anti communist. Just as I am anti fascist. I'm anti absolutism if I'm being perfectly honest. I accept the original state of man is one of violence and insanity, and that man has to make compromises between ultimate liberty and ultimate safety to make this life bearable. Glassy eyed idealism does not appeal to me. Your decision to read my critical comments as some kind of emotional 'anti communism' can only be explained by your self evident presentation as a ridiculously untalented internet troll. MarcusCicero (talk) 21:33, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Right, so anti-absolutism that you see that which you don't like as ABSOLUTE baby murdering, blood of the innocent bathing evil, and would not for a second accept seeing a fair representation of it. That would be why you've argued for so long over a single paragraph saying the Soviets were not actually comic book super villains. But hey, whatever you need to do to sleep at night, kid.UncleHo (talk) 22:07, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
You're so full of shit. This is some of the most lame ass trolling I've ever witnessed. MarcusCicero (talk) 23:02, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, you are a pretty bad troll. You should stop.UncleHo (talk) 23:19, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Years of service with the CIA and that's the best you could come up with? MarcusCicero (talk) 23:33, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
While it is quite funny to watch two trolls (sorry, a troll and an ex-troll) bitch at one another, it would be nice if you two could either 1) fuck off or 2) kiss and make up and contribute positively instead of namecalling and creating drama. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 00:49, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
What's really funny is that while the chimpanzees have been throwing feces at each other, other people have completely changed the pp in question... ħumanUser talk:Human 00:59, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
What's really funny is how I am apparently a CIA agent. Better watch your asses, I'm about to drop some Jack Bauer shit!UncleHo (talk) 03:54, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
No you are an oxymoron, apparently: "I spent a large portion of my life in military intelligence". Now will you idiots return to your respective take pages? Archiving of this tripe in 5...4..3... ħumanUser talk:Human 03:59, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
CIA is not military intelligence.UncleHo (talk) 04:29, 12 September 2010 (UTC)